The Monday Review:
Protocol Probable Cause Red
October 26, 2020
Cigar Name: Probable Cause (Red)
Company Name: Protocol Cigars
MSRP (per stick): $9.89
Size: 6.5 x 48
Role Type: Churchill
Flavor Profile: Medium/Full Bodied
OVERALL RATING: 3.5
(note all ratings out of 5.0)
Appearance Rating: 4.0
Roll/Burn Rating: 2.5
Flavor Rating: 4.0
Value Rating: 3.0
Description: The Protocol Probable Cause (Red) comes in two rolls. This review is based on the 6.5 x 48 Churchill stick, although it also comes in a 7.5 x 38 Lancero. It has a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper, a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and a Nicaraguan long-filler. Protocol Cigars makes this cigar in Erik Espinosa’s famous La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
This cigar is the most full flavored of Protocol’s Habano cigars and the fragrance and cold draw are reminiscent of this fact. The foundational flavor profile tends to transform over the course of the smoke, it starts slightly sweet and tangy, not unlike a teriyaki jerky and becomes more dry and woodsy towards the end. This foundational flavor supports consistent flavors of chocolate and pecans with a light pepperiness. This may seem like an odd amalgamation of flavors but they blend surprisingly well. The Probable Cause has a lavish flavor that borders on the decadent without ever stepping over the line into the excessive.
The construction of the Probable Cause is solid but persnickety. The draw is consistent from stick to stick and the draw strength is right in the sweet-spot, likewise the burn time is consistent and on par with what one expects from a Churchill of this size. On the other hand, I have learned after smoking a dozen or more of them that the Probable cause is a very unforgiving cigar. The normal storage range for a cigar is between 65% and 72% humidity. Most cigars can push this range as long as it is not for a long period of time. However, I have found with this cigar that is not the case, and in fact, the range may be even tighter than that. when the cigar pushes the top of the range it tends to burn unevenly and require frequent relights and near the bottom is quickly becomes prone to splitting and unwrapping. I have also found that the collar often sticks to the wrap meaning removing tends to damage the cigar. Don’t get me wrong, these are small complaints and when the cigar is cared for to it’s exacting standards it is remarkably consistent and well constructed.
Comments: Overall the Probable Cause is my favorite of the Protocol cigars that I have tried and I would recommend any seasoned cigar smoker give it a try at minimum, especially if you like medium to full-bodied cigars or those with a Habano flavor profile.
It so happens that a regional rep for Protocol tends to spend time at The Wight Puff, which is the local preferred lounge for the ChristianCigarSmoker guys. While this was not a consideration for this review, I do have to say I have been impressed by how the company approaches creating a quality cigar and their devotion to their craft.
The protocol Probable Cause (Red) was created by Bill Ives and Juan Cancel and made in Nicaragua as is the rest of the Protocol line.
Person Reviewing: Pastor Smokey (aka. Doug Goodman)
Check out the rest of ChristianCigarSmoker cigar reviews HERE.